Hicks will backup George at tailback

The Tennessee Titans spent most of the spring and summer attempting to
locate a viable backup to starting tailback Eddie George. On Thursday, just
three days before the start of the regular season, they finally succeeded.

Or at least seem confident they have.

Tennessee claimed three-year veteran Skip Hicks, cut by the Chicago Bears
last week, off waivers and he figures to fill the vacancy created when
longtime Titans backup Rodney Thomas signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an
unrestricted free agent this summer.

Hicks, 26, played the first three seasons of his career with the Washington
Redskins then relinquished his restricted free agent rights this spring, and
he signed with Chicago. The Bears decided to use second-round pick Anthony
Thomas as the backup to James Allen.

"I'm still as confident as ever in my abilities," said Hicks, "and I'm going
to a team that might win the Super Bowl and playing with a great back. I
guess it all worked out for the best. I just want to get (to Tennessee) now
and learn as much as I can as fast as I can."

Tennessee had auditioned second-year pro Mike Green, the most valuable
player in the NFL Europe League this spring, as George's backup. Then the
Titans signed former Bills running back Jonathan Linton, but released him
last week.

George has averaged more than 85 percent of the Titans' carries by running
backs in all five of his NFL seasons, but is coming back from offseason toe
surgery. Although he looks to be back to form, the Titans still wanted some
insurance in the form of a more experienced back than what they had on the

A former UCLA standout, Hicks was chosen by the Redskins in the third round
of the 1998 draft. In three seasons, he has appeared in 29 games and started
eight times. He has 229 carries for 768 yards and 12 touchdowns. His best
season was his rookie campaign, when he started five games and rushed for
443 yards and eight touchdowns.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.